American Airlines Starts Chicago to Moscow Nonstop Service

American Airlines begins its first-ever service to Moscow, making it only the second U.S. airline to fly nonstop to Russia, and the first U.S. airline to fly nonstop from Chicago to Russia. American says the move underscores Russia’s emergence as an economic and trade center for U.S. businesses and popular tourist destination for U.S. travelers.

The flight departs from Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. and arrives at Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday (local time). This historic flight marks the first time in American Airlines' 80-year history that the carrier has flown a commercial flight to Russia. The new route will be served using Boeing 777-200 aircraft, which seats 245 passengers in a three-class configuration.

The impact on the traveling public is significant, American says. Previously, travelers who wished to visit Russia had few options when deciding when and where they would depart from within the United States. Russia is the third-fastest growing tourism market after China and India.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates that travel and tourism demand to Russia increased by 21 percent between 2007 and 2008 and will increase by 178 percent between 2008 and 2018. Passenger traffic from the United States to Russia increased at an average annual rate between nine and 10 percent for the last five years, according to the WTTC. Visit www.aa.com.

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